I was purveying the week’s news in the gaming industry: there’s lots of rumors out there about who might be announcing what at GDC or E3, or which features might be placed in which new console. Speculation about how the Steam store might be run in the future, and studies on whether violent people are too occupied by new games over the holidays to commit crime. There’s anecdotes about Nintendo fans rewarded for calling support or getting the shaft if they attempt to return their faulty consoles to the store… but the one thing that caught my interest is this small little post on Destructoid.
If you were watching the Scott Pilgrim videos I did you may have heard me proclaiming how much I loved the movie, and how much I loved the game, and how much I really should get around to reading the books. Well, my wife heard my swooning and decided to help me out by picking up Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Boxset. It comes with a poster, and the box art was done by Paul Robertson. Yeah, yeah, enough with the Scott Pilgrim you’re probably groaning, and that’s fine, that’s not really what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to rave about how much I love packaging, and how I miss the days where I bought everything as a tangible object.
See, I live an odd lifestyle where I’ve moved about ten times in the past ten years, and the past couple times I’ve really decided “Bro… you need to get rid of your stuff.” I mean, if you see the pictures at the top of the website, you probably have said the same thing. But the fact is, I’ve trying! I’ve sold so many games, and dvds, and books… donated so many household knick-knacks to thrift shops… you’d really be shocked if you knew. I’ve been buying mp3’s instead of cd’s, watching on Netflix instead of buying dvds, and purchasing on Steam or the PSN or gog.com instead of brick and mortar stores. And that to me is both exciting that I can cut down on the physical belongings I drag from dwelling to dwelling, and sad that I can’t take delight in having all the wonderful statues, and posters, and booklets that come with having a store-bought game in my hands. The big guys, get it.
I can’t tell you how cool it was as a kid to get a new game, that original Final Fantasy on NES for example (image taken from an ebay listing), and sit there for a good hour scouring over the maps, the booklet, the chart of all the monsters… heck I remember going back to that very booklet and drawing pictures from it when I was in High School. That artwork was always so fun to have. I kept a lot of those posters for a while… the moogle from Final Fantasy VI, the world map in Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, the maps from the Dragon Warrior Games… I remember reading the Castlevania, and Zelda, and Megaman booklets… that shit’s all awesome! And I think that’s a big part of what I miss from my new lifestyle of digital downloads. The press kit that was made for Megaman 9, and the fake one that I liked to above for Megaman 10… that stuff is all gold.
And then there’s the cases of the Sierra Quest for Glory games, or the Police Quest games where trying to figure out what to do was near on impossible if you didn’t have the booklet. Or the infamous Metal Gear Solid codec number that’s written on the back of the jewel case.
I think it would be awesome to be able to release a physical product like that for our games. Even if it’s just all for show and the game still is just downloadable and you get a little slip of paper with a Steam product code.